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Which do you think is a better home-defense gun: shotgun or pistol?

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  • Which do you think is a better home-defense gun: shotgun or pistol?

    I've been having this discussion with my buddies for years and Im lookin for some professional advice. Personally, I believe that a shotgun is the ideal weapon since you don't have to worry so much about accuracy and it's got stopping power. I always hear that "its going to take you so much longer to get your shotgun than it would be to grab a pistol" and that could be the reason the intruders succeed. I keep my Mossberg in a safe near my bed and have practiced rolling out of bed and retrieving it quickly so I dont think that's a real concern.

    You know my position, do you think I should switch to a pistol? I'm pretty accurate but I feel like Im more confident with my 12 gauge. What do you think?

    Thanks!

  • #2
    My pick for a home defense gun. I would have to say the 12 gauge shotgun. You get a choice of rounds, you can pick from no.9 shot so you don’t over penetrate or 00 buck shot and for some real stopping power you can load a slug round, one ounce of pure stopping power. So you don’t have a shotgun well then a .45 is my pick. Oh you don’t own a .45 either. Well lets go with a … I hope you see that there are a lot of choices for a home defense weapon and it is hard to tell you what is best for you. I don’t know how big or small you are. What your home is like, it could be big and you may have longer shots, it could be a small apartment with no room to maneuver. So what is my answer?
    Use the gun you know the best. A home break in is not the time to learn that you did not train enough on the weapon you chose. First and foremost is how much training do you have on whichever weapon you pick. Even though a shotgun has more stopping power you may need to accept the fact that you do not own one or may not be as proficient with a shotgun as you are with let’s say your pistol. Which weapon have you trained on the most? Under stress you will have to know how to use whichever weapon you have chosen. I teach home invasion classes and have witnessed the strange things people do under this type of pressure. Both men and woman have accidentally shot their spouse. They have even forgotten to load their weapon and the list could keep going. I have observed that most of the time it would not have mattered which weapon they chose. The most important choice was picking a weapon they have trained on and were very confident using. There is also what type of break in is it. Is it a break in and the thieves think you are asleep or not home or as is becoming more common a home invasion where the thugs are armed and are wanting to hurt you. Of course use the gun with the most stopping power that you can handle and have trained with.
    It comes down to practice your plan. If you have not practiced your plan you do not have a plan. I would see a dramatic change in confidence and competence with as little as two practice runs. I cannot stress enough to practice your plan.
    You must be able to hit your target so have a flash light or a light on your gun you could even turn the house lights on. A light on your gun is the better choice, but that is a topic for another time.
    And the last point is the hardest for a lot of men. Bunker up in a room that is safe. Make them come to you. Call out “I have a gun and have called the police”. Unless you have children or your spouse is in danger. Stay where you are safe. Everything else is just stuff and can be replaced.
    I am not sure if I answered the question or not. I will have to say that the choice of gun is secondary to being confident with your gun and practicing your plan.
    Last edited by Gordon; 05-02-2019, 04:10 PM.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Combat_Tomcat View Post
      I've been having this discussion with my buddies for years and Im lookin for some professional advice. Personally, I believe that a shotgun is the ideal weapon since you don't have to worry so much about accuracy and it's got stopping power. I always hear that "its going to take you so much longer to get your shotgun than it would be to grab a pistol" and that could be the reason the intruders succeed. I keep my Mossberg in a safe near my bed and have practiced rolling out of bed and retrieving it quickly so I dont think that's a real concern.

      You know my position, do you think I should switch to a pistol? I'm pretty accurate but I feel like Im more confident with my 12 gauge. What do you think?

      Thanks!
      In the next few days, we will be publishing a new article that I think you'll really like, "14 of America's Elite Tactical Experts Give Their Opinion on the Best Home Defense Gun." Make sure to check back in a few days!

      Comment


      • #4
        I'm all about my Glocks. I'm a pistol guy and that is what I know best.

        I agree with Gordon that there are questions that you need to ask yourself and the answers will help you determine what is the best home defense gun for you.

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        • #5
          I gotta agree with Gordon I went from a very large 4 bedroom with wide open space that I could easily manage a Rifle or shotgun. To a longer ranch style single hallway with the same Sq. Feet. I needed to be able to manage small space while allowing my wife to also defend herself . While I wasn’t home, so switched to A Sig 226 and a Sp 2022 .

          Comment


          • Gordon
            Gordon commented
            Editing a comment
            Good choice on guns, I love the Sig P226 and shot it for 30 years. It will last for a lifetime for most people. Welcome to the site.

        • #6
          Why choose just one ? It's 3am and an unknown is knocking on you door, would you really feel comfortable trying to hold a shotgun when trying to see if it's friend or foe ? Try to imagine your shotgun is in the bedroom and you are in the kitchen and you hear your bedroom window being smashed, practice that roll out of bed move with the bad guy already at the foot of you bed. For true protection take a good look at your home and think about all the entry points and any place that you or your family might be. And one more thing , some one you love is being held or is between you and "the bad guy" a shot gun might not be the best offence. Just think about the best way for you to protect what is important to you , listen to all the advice and choose what is right for you, Good Luck I have both shotgun and pistols

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          • #7
            Thanks for all the input! I think if **** is really hitting the fan, I'm better off spending the extra 30 seconds to grab my pistol and holster while slinging my Shotgun. Looking forward to the new article so I can get even more info!

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          • #8
            Thanks, Myles! This is awesome

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            • #9
              I would say go with what you are most comfortable with, the last thing you want in a compromising stressful situation is to have your hands on a weapon system that you are not entirely comfortable with, that would not be good. If the safe is problematic to open there are some pretty cool easy access storage options out there, check out tacticalwall.com, or just search decorative gun safes, you'll come across a ton of options.
              My posts are for general educational and informational purposes only. What you do with this information is your responsibility. I encourage you to seek out professional instruction. Nothing replaces in-person training with a qualified professional to ensure you learn properly and train safely.

              Comment


              • #10
                Originally posted by Combat_Tomcat View Post
                I've been having this discussion with my buddies for years and Im lookin for some professional advice.

                Personally, I believe that a shotgun is the ideal weapon since you don't have to worry so much about accuracy and it's got stopping power. I always hear that, “It's going to take you so much longer to get your shotgun than it would be to grab a pistol.” and that could be the reason the intruders succeed. I keep my Mossberg in a safe near my bed and have practiced rolling out of bed and retrieving it quickly so I don’t think that's a real concern.

                You know my position, do you think I should switch to a pistol? I'm pretty accurate but I feel like Im more confident with my 12 gauge. What do you think? Thanks!
                No! NOT a shotgun, my friend—NOT a shotgun! Why? Well I can think of a number of valid different reasons:

                First, I built our home; and I'm not about to ‘blast it into oblivion’ with a scattergun when two or three skillfully placed 230 grain bullets will do the job just as well.

                Second, plumbing leaks, and electrical shorts are the very devil to have to repair. These problems are not something I’d want to have to fool around with at MY house, OK!

                Third, have you priced appliances and electronics at any of the ‘big box’ stores lately? A couple of judiciously placed 9 x 19mm cartridges will cost you about a dollar; but that .75 cent 12 gauge double 0 shell you plan on firing inside your home could end up costing you many THOUSANDS of dollars (or worse)!

                Fourth, Ever since our home was invaded on an otherwise quiet Sunday morning all the way back in 1990, my own EDC pistol has never been out of reach of my outstretched arm. No matter where I am around either our house, or the outside yard, that well used EDC pistol is always with me.

                Fifth, a shotgun is a terrible choice of weapon to have to use around other members of your family; and this is, especially, true of both children, and grandma and grandpa! My own mother was the kind of innocent elderly dependent who would have blithely gotten up from bed at night, wandered out into the hallway, and uttered the famous last words, “Son, son, what is that awful loud noise?

                (I’m not exaggerating! Mom was a very intelligent woman, but she was also an ingenuous ‘do-gooder’ as well as a consummate ‘sheeple’.)

                Sixth, a shotgun is the worst choice a home defender could possibly make for having to ‘muck his way through’ an unexpected—but entirely possible—hostage situation! One of my acquaintances actually has small red adhesive target dots stuck on the outside walls of the bedrooms where his children sleep, (So help me!) and he has placed these dots exactly at the height of the tops of their beds!

                Why did he do this? Because he’s savvy enough to have already determined all of the available and open: lines, angles-of-fire, and primary ambush points throughout the inside of his home. (Quite frankly I think the guy’s a genius, and his home defense protocols are every bit as meticulous as they are brilliant—Brilliant!)

                Seventh, this very thoughtful fellow practices extensively with his meticulously custom-built Glock (in his case a Model 19). He’s fast and accurate with his pistol-of-choice; and, the way that I see things, only a suicidal idiot would try to play ‘gun games’ with him in the dark!

                It should be remembered, as well, that this entire discussion is about CQB engagements that are going to take place at room-fighting distances. (No more than 15 to 20 feet) So, is it really necessary for even a reasonably competent gunman to have to do something incredibly macho like ‘fight his way to the gun safe’? Personally, I truly do not think so.

                If you are WELL PRACTICED with a pistol, if you CAN SHOOT, if you are PREPARED and know all of the relevant OPEN LINES, ANGLES-OF-FIRE, AND PRINCIPAL AMBUSH POINTS around your home, and if you have RIGOROUSLY INSTRUCTED other family members in how to behave in the event of a home invasion emergency then (and only then) I am 100% certain that it is not necessary to use either a shotgun (or dynamite) in order to successfully defend your home.
                Last edited by Arc Angel; 05-20-2019, 05:37 AM.
                ‘L‘Enfer C’est Les Autres, Et Les Choses Terribles Qu’ils Font!’

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                • #11
                  Pick the gun you are most comfortable with, have a plan "A" and a plan "B", practice and become proficient with your tools. Rehearse your plan with everyone in the house, just like a fire drill. You can read my part of the article here: https://tacticalhyve.com/best-home-defense-gun/ for more of my thoughts on the subject.
                  My posts are for general educational and informational purposes only. What you do with this information is your responsibility. I encourage you to seek out professional instruction. Nothing replaces in-person training with a qualified professional to ensure you learn properly and train safely.

                  Comment


                  • #12
                    My answer to people is always the same. "It depends".

                    Honestly, with modern bullet technology just about any caliber weapon system will do the job. Pick one that'll help you establish fire superiority. Shotguns are great, but they aren't exactly the easiest for everyone to manage, and you are limited by the rounds they hold.

                    There's a reason why assault teams use SBR's and SMG's.

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                    • #13
                      All weapons are equally useless or useful depending on the amount of trigger time you've got with them.

                      Comment


                      • #14
                        It is all irrelevant if you aren't going to train. Pistols are better in confined spaces. Shotguns give more bang and terminal effects down range in close proximity. I could argue a AR pistol or SBR in 300blk gives you some serious firepower as well. None of them will serve you well if you don't train well enough to manipulate under stress, out of a dead sleep, at night.

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                        • #15
                          Bruiser pretty much hit the nail on the head. Not big into training? Well, good luck, because you're gonna need it.

                          And not a one thing is for everyone or every situation. You got neighbors? If the answer is yes, do you think it's a good idea to bust that AK-47 out in the middle of the night and start slingin 123gr FMJ down your hall? That's gonna be a big fat negative on that one, cowboy.

                          You had better think carefully about what weapons you employ in your specific environment, your objective always being preservation of life of the people who aren't supposed to be on the receiving end of violence.

                          Old friend of mine called me last night "hey, we've been dealing with a series of home invasions in our neighborhood recently. What should I use for home defense?"

                          "No idea. I have no idea what your house looks like man, or where you live or who you're living with now. I also have no idea how much you've been training and what with."

                          Reactive measures are dangerous for you and those around you. Be proactive.

                          This conversation with him really kind of irritated me because I couldn't give him much advice, and I knew he'd ask around until somebody gave him some bad advice.



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                          • Myles
                            Myles commented
                            Editing a comment
                            Yeah, the whole purpose of the piece was to educate people that there is no "best home defense gun."

                            14 experts basically said the same thing. They gave their preferred weapons, but acknowledged that it really depends. I loved how each gave additional insight as well, to get people thinking about things they haven't thought of before.
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